Monday, June 12, 2006

A trip north....

Let me divert to another interesting event that happen as I journey on... A few weeks ago a couple invited us to take a trip north of the country, to the state of Perak. Since we had not been to that part of the country for sometime already, we decided to accept the offer. Taiping is interesting because it is among the city with lots and lots of green. Situated in the Kinta Valley, an area where there are lots of Tin Ore, it is among the areas where the British colonial authority make lots of money mining the Tin ore..Because of the presence of many British enterprises, towns in these area are built with lush garden and Taiping is one of the many well develop town in this part of the country, with great well planned garden that still in use today. Visit this lush green garden and you would be amazed as to how this greens were in its hay days during the colonial are. Today the Taiping Lake Garden is a must visit place if you happen to be there. It is known as the Taiping Lake Garden..

Since the Highway was built we often bypassed most towns like taping and Kuala Kangsar on our way north especially to the city of Penang, the Pearl of the Orient. We left just after nine in the morning with the friend spouse taking the wheel. She happen to be the few spouse that love to drive. She is younger then my spouse and as such have more vigor. To me it is an interesting event, as for once I would have the opportunity to sit and enjoy the ride. In a word I would just play tourist for a change. When you drive you have to put full concentration on the road and would not have the pleasure and the leisure of times to enjoy the trip. So on this occasion I would enjoy the trip care less of how we get to the destination. I have confidence on this lady driving the Mercedes, so I sat and enjoy the trip intercept from time to time in small talk with her spouse and my spouse. In this country it is not always you get a lady to drive. Quite so often it is the man that do the driving when one is with one's spouse or the family. Of course many ladies do drive in this country but more often when they drive alone. When they are with the family, it is the man that normally do the driving. I believe this is a cultural thing and it seem to be fine with us but things are changing with times. So today being driven by a lady driver especially on a long trip, is indeed something special for me.. I just relax and enjoy the drive. She is indeed a good driver. Once before when we went on a trip to the National Park, she drove a four wheels drive and we all did enjoy that trip...

Today we took the Highway toward Ipoh the capital of the state of Perak. Malaysian Highway is just like those in the US or Europe except that we drive on the left side of the road. Both side of the highway were lush greens that of Rubber Plantation or Palm Oil Plantation and near the town areas on both side were housing estate, makes up of apartments, condos or luxury houses. An indicator of the prosperity of the country. The highway as usual were throng with cars going on both direction. We drive on and just before arriving at Ipoh we took the country road to Kampar, since my friend had a business to do there. We stop at this once thriving mining town while my friend get going with his business. After that we proceed on and had lunch at one of the food court. We tried the local dishes and really enjoy that lunch, which were rather cheap compare to the price we had to pay for the same food in Kuala Lumpur...

Since we had not been to this part of the country for some time already, we decided to stop at a few places on the way and take a walk at the old streets. At the town of Kampar I took to walk the pathway of the old street and saw a few shop lots that floods my memories back to the time of my youth in Kuantan. I saw a few Cheetiers shops, once a main feature in most towns. Cheetier are actually Indian money lender, a licensed one that had a flourishing business lending money before modern banking became an economic institution and makes it presence nowadays. All such shops that I saw are abandoned and left to rot with weed growing in the crevice of the neglected buildings. I also saw one old Chinese shop that had that traditional sign board. This one that I passed by still has some activities going on, run by old folks. I stop by to chat and seek permission to take photo of the sign board. There are so many things to see here, things out of the past, parts of our history. It would be interesting to spend a few days here and walk the streets and take picture of what's left of it former glorious days, especially when it was the main town during the Tin boom of the colonial era....Well that would do for today.[images above shows what's left of the Cheetier's shop, ceramic on wall and the traditional signboard of a tailor shop in Kampar]

2 comments:

anasalwa said...

Pak Idrus,
You and Mrs. went to Taiping, didn't you? well, that is my hometown. I'm so proud of my hometown. I hope you had a wonderful time there.

Pak Idrus said...

Ana, sure we had a great time, thanks.